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Family Ties and Roots Music Foundations: Jonathan Wilson and Bella White

Album art from Among Other Things by Bella White

For Jonathan Wilson and Bella White, family figures prominently not only in their lives behind the scenes, but also in the musical paths both chose early on. It should come as no surprise that as a boy in rural North Carolina, celebrated producer and artist Jonathan Wilson played in a family band of sorts (he would fill in for various band members in his father’s band at their practices), or that rising star Bella White’s father played in old time and bluegrass bands in Calgary, Canada when she was growing up. What may seem much more novel is that the common thread between their two experiences, separated by decades of time and thousands of miles, is also roots music like country and bluegrass.
Songs heard in this episode:

“The Way I Oughta Go” by Bella White, from Among Other Things

“Charlie Parker” by Jonathan Wilson, from Eat the Worm, excerpt

“Break My Heart” by Bella White, from Among Other Things, excerpt

“The Village Is Dead” by Jonathan Wilson, from Eat the Worm, excerpt

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Joe Kendrick grew up far off in the woods in rural Stanfield, NC, where he acquired his first Sony Walkman, listened to both AM and FM radio from Charlotte, went to Nascar races at Charlotte Motor Speedway, attended a small Baptist church, read Rolling Stone, subscribed to cassette clubs, and played one very forgettable season of high school football. From there, Joe studied Journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was able to fulfill his dream of being a disc jockey at WXYC. He volunteered at WNCW soon after graduation.